elmergantry

' I've lost the power I had to distinguish between what to ignite and what to extinguish' – Rowland S. Howard

Category: Steve Earle

‘On the Road…again’: a Theme-Time 30 minutes

‘On the Road…again’: a Theme-Time 30 minutes
by elmergantry

Would like to dedicate this post to the ‘mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars’.

Also for the purposes of this post, ‘Road’ is taken to extend to highways, freeways, railroads, bóithríni and so on…,

Have to start with this one:

1. Willie Nelson, ‘On the road Again’:

Will follow it up with this typically raucous ditty from Kraftwerk

2. Kraftwerk, ‘Autobahn’:

To change the mood slightly, this great song from Nick Drake’s final masterpiece, “Pink Moon’:

3. Nick Drake, ‘Road’:

4. Bert would have been 70 on the 3 November – perhaps the greatest British acoustic guitarist:

5. Woody Guthrie, ‘Goin’ Down the Road feelin’ bad’:

Steve Earle has written at least fine three songs with ‘road’ in the title – this one is my favourite, by a whisker…

6. Steve Earle, ‘Telephone Road”

Not only a great singer, but a great man as well…

7. Paul Robeson, ‘Lonesome Road’

8. Merle Haggard ‘On the Jericho Road”;

As ever, a beautifully understated song from a master…

9. Guy Clark, ‘LA Freeway’:

10. Paul Clayton, ‘Green Rocky Road: There is a sample of this song here:

http://www.artistdirect.com/nad/window/media/page/0,,4764222-14833483,00.html

Although it doesn’t have the word in the title, this must be among the greatest road songs ever written

11. Chuck Berry, ‘Promised Land’:

Mary Gauthier, Steve Earle and Goodbyes

Have recently been listening to a lot of Mary Gauthier recently, who, I think, must be reckoned among the great songwriters of recent times.

There is a honesty about her music, which is enormously appealing in an age of so much manufactured garbage. Her songs also pack a great deal of emotional weight. This one, perhaps, most of all:

 

The song this one brought to my mind is Steve Earle’s Goodbye, perhaps his most perfect song and one of the saddest songs I have ever heard. The harmonica solo on it is the sound of complete loneliness (sez he):

 

And to round it off, here is ‘Invisible’ from Earle’s new album – another song which proves the continuing relevance and potency of a good ‘topical’ song: